Thursday, February 21, 2008

CNN, Fox News, MSNBC all on a slippery slope

I don't know about you, my reader, but I am about "politicked out" from watching daily news reports on Headline News, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

With everything that is going on around the world, we are being fed a constant barrage of political garbage about the presidential primaries.

One candidate hiccups, you hear about it from every source, every angle, for hours and hours. Each of the commentators take his/her turn to offer his/her view of the hiccup. Was the hiccup deliberate? Was it to make fun of the other candidate? Is the candidate getting ill? Blah blah blah and blah blah blah.

Oh, then they take a quick break for "other" news and give you a brief rundown of other things happening in the world. A few moments to tell us stocks have tanked, an embassy is attacked, etc. etc.

Here's the problem. These "news" channels are promoting themselves as "news" channels. Yet, they act like the radio pundits. It's like hearing the skewed view of someone like Rush Limbaugh and other similar personalities. It is mostly hype. But, more importantly and very seriously, it is mostly opinions, not news, they are reporting. Every commentator offers an opinion. Some think they are funny. Some think they are cute.

They are not reporters. They are mostly stupid. We don't even know how they qualify to be the expert on the politics of the time. Few times are we given the source of their information to corroborate it. Keith Olberman of MSNBC, for example, was a sports commentator, for crying out loud. We in the news business know that sports writers and commentators are granted a loose license to play with the facts and opinions, because it is sports. Not news. Olberman thinks he is witty. So give him a comedy show. Don't make him look like a trusted news reporter, because he is not.

You don't do that with news. Why are they throwing opinions out to the voters who have yet to vote? They are supposed to report a candidate's stance, background, and activity, not the odds of who is going to win. That's like sports commentators telling the basketball players, while they are still playing, what they will probably do and whether they will win or fail. You don't do that.

But we allow them to mess with it on the news side, the most serious side of all.

Much of the opinions expressed are included in very deep background information which is useful to those people deeply involved in campaigns, not to the general public.

I would have to believe that the viewers watching this garbage have got to be getting really bored, when we in the news business already are.

The "news" channels have created a circus out of what should have been the most serious institutions of our democracy. They are not producing freedom of speech. They are skewing it. And we all know these channels, as is with all media channels, money is the bottom line of business, and those opinions will be skewed to whoever controls their income.

None of these commentators is a valid reporter. Even Anderson Cooper, who I had a lot of respect for when he was in the field, has succumbed to the circus atmosphere and no longer trustworthy. They are commentators ... opinion creators ... prejudiced and biased by their own skewed view, and should not being reporting to you or me on the premise this is all legitimate news. If they want to offer opinions, fine. But label it and balance it with legitimate news reports.

Hopefully, most people of this land will soon see them for what they are. I am sure, however, that the presidential vote this time around has already been tainted by they choices of reports made by the media executives. There is a lot of power of information placed in the hands of just a very few of the media companies. You, my dear reader, have no say except to refuse to watch it and force their numbers down and have to alter their methods of reporting to regain a valid audience.

For me, I'm done watching these "news" channels as regularly as I have. Of course, I seldom watch Fox News because of their biased "fair and balanced" reporting, I won't shun them altogether, but I don't need the constant barrage of misinformation they spew constantly trying to convince me which way to vote --- which they claim they are not, but it is obvious they are.

Friday, February 8, 2008

With attacks on each other, could the news channels implode?

The news channels -- such as Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, have jumped into the election politics much, much deeper than they ever had in earlier election cycles. So much so, it is almost consuming them inside out.

Teasing promos that sound like a promotion for a soap opera, repeating the opinions over and over and over again. The hype is overwhelming. It's a bet that, by the time the real election rolls around the voters are going to be tuned out.

The frenzy is so bad already that the channels have turned on each other. Bill O'Reilly, a blowhole I'd rather never mention, took on NBC Thursday evening in his telecast, talking about how NBC News has slanted its coverage to promote Barack Obama above everyone else -- and then proceeded to give verbatim examples from some of the NBC celebrities.

(Notice I said celebrities. Have the networks ever posted the true credentials of their so-called "experts" for us to judge as to whether we really should listen to what they say or take it with a grain of salt?)

Not to be undone, in the same evening -- actually within the same hour -- MSNBC celebrity Keith Oberman took Fox News to task ... of course using Kindergarten name calling of the network, referring to it as "Fix News" and "Fox Noise". And, to expand the universe of self- destruction, Oberman then calls Lou Dobbs, a CNN celebrity, "the worst person in the world" for the night.

Any news organization that must remind you every five minutes it is "fair and balanced" certainly is not, but it is trying to make you think it is. It's a form of brain-washing.

This could really be funny, watching these news "giants" fight among themselves and eventually destroy everyone's credibility in the process. They eventually will destroy each other in the eyes of the viewers.

But funny it is not. For eventually, finally, viewers may come to the sad realization that they have been duped by hype from the "opiate of the masses," the giant electronic whiz-screen, for years, and were led to the voting booths after being casually, slowly, smoothly brain-washed by "celebrities" who called themselves experts and who were merely conveying the wishes of a few giant, behind-the-scenes corporations that have one sole purpose of being in the media -- to preserve their niche of financial security at the expense of everyone else.

My friends, don't believe anything the media moguls and their anchor personalities convey to you until you verify the source of their information (which will more-than-likely remove the weight the information originally carried) or the purpose for which it was disseminated.

They all have an agenda. Believe me, informing you with the truth is not part of it.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fairness isn't a rule with York Sunday News or AP

It didn't come as a surprise when a question of fairness arose in the Feb. 3, '08 edition of The York Sunday News. But, it was a surprise to see that the blame for this opinion piece lies on the Associated Press. However, shame on the York Sunday News for not questioning -- or at least not mentioning they questioned -- the Associated Press on the fairness of its political analysis piece on the presidential nominee candidates (Pages 1A and 6A).

And the analysis piece's accompanying comparison chart wasn't completely accurate either. And it definitely wasn't fair.

First, on the chart's accuracy. At quick glance, AP's explanation of Hillary Clinton's Iraq stance is not right. It says she doesn't have a timetable. Truthfully, she has a plan that would rid Iraq of almost all our troops before a year, and probably sooner than that, she has stated.

Now, on to the fairness.

A responsible print news media (electronic and television media never give you all the facts) would present you with all the facts of an issue or event. To eliminate any, no matter how "fair" the editors or writers may want to be, they have exercised bias and prejudice and prevented you, the reader -- who is paying top dollar to buy the newspaper -- from being able to come to an honest, truthful conclusion or decision based on what you read.

One look at the chart of "all" the candidates' stands on the issues should eliminate it from your consideration. It lacks the stands of at least one candidate who is still in the race -- Ron Paul.

It does not matter that he may be drawing only 3 percent to 5 percent of the vote. The facts is, he is still in the race and still on the ballots. Therefore, he should have been part of the comparison.

The fact that Paul is NOT on the list is the same as the Associated Press and York Sunday News telling you not to bother with Paul. Write Paul off. Paul isn't worth your consideration. So, from informative display to telling you to ignore someone is a far, far stretch for a fair news media to go. But they did it.

Nationally, the Associated Press locally, the York Sunday News owe you an apology for displaying such a skewed "informative" piece.